Industry Continues Demands For 'Fair' Milk Chain31 May 2013
WALES – More calls for a fair milk supply chain have been made by industry experts at a farm meeting this week near Wiston.
Speaking at the meeting, Robert Newbery, Chief Dairy Adviser for the NFU stated that in order to give farmers confidence in investing in their businesses, milk contracts need to be ‘fair’ and a good market environment needs to be created.
“The NFU is striving to create an environment where farm businesses are confident to invest in a profitable future. It is clear that in the dairy sector one of the biggest barriers that’s preventing farmers from getting a fair deal in the marketplace is milk supply contracts,” said Mr Newbery.
While acknowledging progress made by the dairy voluntary code in the last 12 months, Mr Newbery criticised some milk buyers for not signing up to the code.
Without this cooperation, a suitable relationship between producer and processor cannot be put in place, he added.
More can be done by the food-service industry to ensure that contracts comply with the voluntary code, said William Lawrence, Pembrokeshire Milk Chairman or NFU Cymru.
“As dairy farmers, all we’re asking for are fair and equitable contracts, where the risks and rewards are shared more equally between milk producers and milk buyers,” said Mr Lawrence. “If milk buyers are unwilling to move forward with a voluntary code that’s balanced and transparent, then they should be in no doubt that we will not shy away from calling for firm Government intervention to ensure that dairy farmers get a fair deal.”
As the industry comes out of one of the most challenging years in memory, Mr Lawrence is aware of global and domestic demand being high.
In order to safeguard UK milk production there must be investment, he added. But, the right signals need to be seen from the marketplace to get farmers expanding their holdings and sustaining the industry.
TheCattleSite News Desk